Saturday, June 30, 2012

And Now We Have Guests...

I mean so many house guests that I need to get a calendar to schedule them all!  I haven't had to use a calendar in, oh, about a year and a half which was pretty nice but now so many people are coming to visit us that I need to have a way to organize everyone.  And while I love seeing friends and having people visit, I am just a bit stressed out because...

  • We are really frugal.  We don't have cable TV (over the air TV works fine for us but it seems like everyone else in the US has cable TV like it is a requirement or something).  So I am wondering what our guests will think when they get a grand total of 20 stations--half in Spanish--to choose from.
  • We are also really frugal in that we keep the air conditioning set at 78 when we are home and on 82 at night (and use ceiling fans...a lot).  We are acclimated to it but will our friends be?  After hearing from friends who live here in Vegas that their normal summer electricity bill is around $200 we can gladly live in a bit warmer home than usual.  Our guests on the other hand...I wonder if they will think we are too cheap.  Yikes.
  • Then today's discussion was about internet service.  We haven't paid for internet service since we moved to Las Vegas as I am at the library nearly every day and use their internet for free.  But I think our guests will probably expect that we have internet so we are looking at the cost between DSL and cable internet and the thought of paying an extra $40-$70 a month for internet is making us both cringe!  So for now, this subject is still up for debate.
  • And then there is food.  Fortunately hubby is an excellent cook and he can whip up a meal out of a little of this and a little of that and people will think he cooked them a gourmet dinner but we haven't even had time to stock our pantry yet (we are buying loss leaders each week so for now we have a mountain of canned vegetables and that's about it).  
  • Of course there are still decor issues.  We have been furnishing and decorating our house pretty cheaply (thanks to the Goodwill and the Dollar Store) but I still want to get a TV and antenna for each guest room, some decor for the walls in the guest rooms, and some curtains as well.  Buying these things slowly allows us to save money and buy the items on sale or when we have the cash for a big outlay (like when buying TVs).  Now that we have three sets of guests scheduled to visit, we will need to speed up this process.
  • And now we only have one car.  Before (when we lived in a place that no one ever visited) we  usually had three or four cars in the driveway and on the off occasion that people did come to visit, we could easily lend them a car to use.  That won't be the case now so we will either have to drive them or ask them to rent a car.
  • Finally there is entertainment.  We have always spent money on entertaining our guests (taking them out to dinner, to do sightseeing, to local events, etc) but since I haven't worked in ages, our income is pretty limited.  Again, I am cringing at the amounts I expect us to spend on our guests.  Fortunately hubby has comps for many restaurants in town so that will make the dinners out free and I have already planned on researching free and low cost activities and things to do during the time that our friends will be visiting.
I'm sure everything will work out fine it is just that this is yet another thing that has changed drastically since we have decided to live on a very low income.  Our usual habit of throwing money at a problem to fix it won't work now (we don't have that much money to do this with!) so we will just have to be creative (and "be weird" as Dave says) and hope our guests will not be too put out by our odd way of living.


  1. I don't have cable either and I don't care what anyone thinks about it. It isn't even about the money for me. I don't want my kids watching tv. We have netflix and they do watch the occasional tv show or movie on there.

    I'm going to Vegas next week for vacation and I told my house sitter that I'm worried about excess ac use. I rarely use it and he said he keeps it at 76 at home. YIKES! I'm going to be paying for that when I get my bill.

    I wouldn't stress about the things you mentioned. Hopefully your house guests are your friends /family and really wont care about the style of your living. Just be yourselves :)

    1. This is the line that got me:
      "Our guests on the other hand...I wonder if they will think we are too cheap. Yikes."
      I agree with Free. Just be yourselves. Worrying about what other people think and trying to keep up appearances is what gets us into financial trouble. I'm proud to admit that I'm cheap!

  2. I keep typing replies and then deleting them because I don't know what to say!!!!

  3. Some folks thrive on guests and don't give a second thought to all that it 'costs'. Others preplan, like you. Hopefully all this good planning ahead of time will make the visits so much less stressful and more enjoyable.